Ralph W. Muller
PHILADELPHIA – Consistent with its longstanding leadership succession plan, Ralph W. Muller, the CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), will step down in late June of 2019, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann and J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and dean of the Perelman School of Medicine, announced today.
Over his 17-year tenure, Muller has helped transform Philadelphia’s health care landscape through a series of world-class new facilities, expanded its footprint throughout the region to improve access to exceptional patient care, and supported the incubation of groundbreaking innovations that have reshaped 21st century health care delivery.
“Ralph’s collaborative and effective leadership, support of the academic mission and his keen understanding of the evolving health care environment have greatly enhanced Penn Medicine and the University,” Dr. Gutmann said. “Penn Medicine’s stellar national position as one of the nation’s premier integrated academic medical center is a reflection of Ralph’s dedication, expertise and his innumerable contributions.”
Penn Medicine has consistently earned rankings among the top 10 hospitals in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and this year, was named the top health care employer in the nation and the #6 employer overall on Forbes magazine’s America’s Best Employers list.
“Under Ralph’s leadership, we have realized the vision for an integrated academic medical center that puts patients first, and also provides a collaborative environment where faculty and staff work as teams and where innovative research and teaching are highly valued,” Dr. Jameson said. “This is the strong foundation on which Penn Medicine prepares for the future as a continued innovator in health care, transforming the way that health systems deliver high-quality care to complex and diverse patient populations.”
Muller arrived at Penn in 2003 after serving as the President of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System from 1985 to 2001. He previously held senior posts with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including as Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare.
Muller’s diverse skills and scholarship in policy and health care economics have allowed him to help shape national health care industry efforts, from patient safety improvements to health insurance expansion and increased support for physician training. He has also been a force for collaborative partnerships with insurers such as Independence Blue Cross, mapping fresh strategies that improve patient outcomes while reducing costs. A signature effort of his tenure includes creation of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, which brings together physicians and nurses, and social scientists to test new models of healthcare that can advance care at Penn Medicine and throughout the nation.
Under his leadership, UPHS created “practices of the future” across the region, which foster patient-centered care continuity by housing primary care and other specialties under one roof – all of which are linked by a common electronic health record that ensures care coordination throughout the health system’s six hospitals and dozens of outpatient facilities. In addition, his support for telemedicine-based approaches has boosted outcomes for both inpatients and those managing chronic illnesses at home.
“Ralph’s vision for Penn Medicine has focused on improving access and clinical outcomes, and building programs that support advanced medicine. His investments in new facilities and research programs have served us well and prepare us for the future,” said David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president of Comcast Corporation, founding chair of the Penn Medicine Board, and now chair of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees. “Now, the rising steel of Penn Medicine’s new inpatient Pavilion offers a glimpse of what will become America’s most advanced hospital – on an historic piece of land that once housed the Philadelphia Civic Center and has been completely re-imagined and re-built as a world-class healthcare ecosystem that other institutions strive to emulate.”
Muller is also well known for his strong civic engagement and track record of community development and service. He is recognized for leading the creation of the Penn Medicine High School Pipeline program to buoy educational opportunities for West Philadelphia students, and the Penn Medicine CAREs grant program which supports over 180 community service initiatives, from nutrition and hunger initiatives to science-mentoring programs to innovative supports for the region’s homeless population.
Dr. Gutmann and Dr. Jameson will co-lead a national search effort with the input of a Search Advisory Committee to appoint a successor.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.9 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $496 million awarded in the 2020 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.
Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 44,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2020, Penn Medicine provided more than $563 million to benefit our community.